Try to imagine a hot summer day, your lemonade glass perspiring in your hand, a neighbor waving to you from across the street or stopping by to shoot the breeze, your family gathering after dinner … those might be some of the images that may come to mind when considering a Porch Design. Or, perhaps the thought of enjoying a hot cup of coffee while seated on a porch swing watching the sun rise slowly in the sky is more to your liking.
A Porch Makes Memories
No matter the mental picture you conjure up, by incorporating a Porch Design for your home you will be essentially creating an additional living space where memories will be made – a place where you can be reminded of simpler, quieter days when you’d borrow a cup of sugar from next door and your children could play hopscotch on your sidewalk.
Design Elements for Your Porch
- Flooring: If your home has an existing porch it’s more than likely made of wood planks. Refinish it with a high gloss deck enamel (or stain) which will repeal water to make quick cleanup with just a sweep of the broom. To add a bit of drama or a Contemporary feel, consider stenciling a pattern on to the floor. If you are in the process of building, there are many wonderful new products on the market today – consult your local home improvement store or an Interior Designer. Don’t forget area rugs – many are easy care and will add the “homey” and soft element to the flooring.
- Furniture: Try to think of the porch as an extension of your home … bring the style outside. Choose Outdoor Furniture that is comfortable and yet fairly weather proof. Wicker is a popular choice. Shy away from metals or aluminum that can rust. Your perfect piece may include wood, if treated properly it can be enjoyed out in the elements for years to come. Cushions that can be stored or dry cleaned will also work nicely. Comfort is key here – you’ll be enjoying many hours on your new porch.
- Outside Elements: Unlike indoors, you will encounter outside conditions that won’t always be favorable for you or your furnishings. Even though you don’t have windows on the porch, per say, Window Treatments should always be on the list of considerations to help with the outside elements. Roll up blinds, pull down shades, or even netting can accomplish all that while allowing you to enjoy the full benefits of the porch – no matter what the weather or time of year.
- Accessories: A truly welcoming porch makes you feel like you are at home while still being able to interact with Mother Nature’s decor. Adding flowers and plants is a good place to start. Other items you may want to consider could include; a throw for chilly evenings, pillows for comfort, end tables to hold the lemonade glasses, books, magazines, and lamps – make it as romantic and as comfortable as any special retreat you’d like to encounter.
A Porch Doesn’t Have to be a Part of the Past
As the years have passed, life has become caught up in the advancement of electronics and other modern conveniences such as air conditioning – all of which has encouraged porches to be abandoned as we moved inside to enjoy the new fruits of innovation.
But it also works both ways. With the latest generation enjoying Ipods around their ears and cell phones in their pockets, innovation can now be taken outdoors – no longer do you need to be glued to the land line, the television set or the thermostat – you can be outside enjoying the fresh air, the smell of fresh cut grass, and the wave from a neighbor, and you can still be a part of the 21st century.
With the actual definition of a Porch Design changing over the years, it’s always wise to consider hiring a Outdoor Designer to help you with the design inspiration, style and function of this “outdoor livingroom”. With a professional’s advice you’ll be assured of having all the elements needed to revisit the past or bring it full circle to the future.
For more inspirational design ideas please visit our interior design ideas and photo gallery where you’ll learn the tried and true (as well as the latest) in Interior Designing Elements. When the time comes to pursue your own design project our interior designer directory is a wonderful tool in locating a qualified design firm in your neck of the woods.